Online shoppers demand clarity and choice, says UPS

The seventh annual UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper study indicates that online shoppers in Asia Pacific make their decisions based on shipment visibility, value-adding incentives and the ability to customise both their purchase and its delivery.

“Consumers in Asia Pacific are increasingly knowledgeable about the options available to them when shopping online, and this is driving a demand for complete clarity and access to information throughout the purchase journey, as well as greater flexibility in both the shopping and shipping process,” said Sylvie Van den Kerkhof, vice president of marketing, UPS Asia Pacific.

“As consumers are presented with more options to buy online and competition increases, expectations are becoming more refined and retailers need to be agile enough to stay ahead of the trends. The ability to offer incentives not just in the form of a unique product offering but also in the shipping and delivery experience will be crucial to success in the evolving e-commerce landscape,” she added.

Free shipping remains a significant factor in the decision-making process for online shoppers. Indeed, high delivery costs are the most common reason for an abandoned shopping cart. Many shoppers in Asia Pacific choose to spend more on their purchase, or add an extra item to their basket, in order to qualify for free shipping.

Customers are also increasingly looking for alternative delivery options, with just 36% of respondents in the region preferring to receive their package in person at their home.

Asia Pacific bears testimony to the rise of online marketplaces as an alternative to purchasing direct from retailers. 93% of Asia Pacific customers overall, and 100% of China-based respondents, used one of these platforms in the three months leading up to the survey.

Satisfaction with returns is low among consumers in the region, owing to delayed refunds, having to pay for returns, or delays in receiving replacement products.

The survey was expanded for the first time this year to include B2B purchasing – which follows some of the same trends as the B2C segment. For instance, 96% of Asia Pacific B2B buyers want to be able to track their shipment, and there is a widespread (92%) preference for all elements of a delivery to be managed by the supplier or shipper.

A good returns policy emerged as being of greater importance for B2B customers than for B2C buyers.

Business purchasers in Asia Pacific are also more likely than the global average to purchase products from non-domestic marketplaces, either to ensure product quality or because the product in question is only available from an international supplier. For private consumers, that choice varies depending on what the individual is buying and how long they are prepared to wait for it to arrive.

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